The manufacturer of Midas (methyl iodide), the embattled soil fumigant registered for use in California crops in December 2010 as a potential replacement for methyl bromide, has suspended the sale of all formulations of the product in the U.S. due to market conditions.
Methyl iodide had been applied for replant in a handful of California Almond orchards; however, due to the expense and the tremendous media pressure on the compound by certain environmental groups, its usage had been limited.
Partially based on Midas’ assumed availability to almond growers, EPA did not request the use of methyl bromide for tree replant operations as of 2014. Under the Montreal Protocol, methyl bromide was phased out in the U.S. as of 2005. However, where there are no practical or economically viable alternatives, use of methyl bromide can still be requested under a Critical Use Exemption. It is not clear at this time whether the U.S. government will revise the methyl bromide Critical Use Exemptions in light of the withdrawal of Midas from the market. Therefore, there is the potential that almond growers will have neither methyl iodide nor methyl bromide as of 2014.